Have you heard of Digitalization 2.0? We believe that this will be the future of technology, which is all about making optimal use of digital opportunities and we want every organisation to have access to that. If anyone asks, you heard it from us first!
Digitalization 2.0 stands for easy access, democratic, and simplified technology that makes people’s lives easier. Technology is for everyone and every business should be able to access it no matter if it’s big or small. Whether it’s a traditional mom-and-pop shop or a tech-savvy business.
The trends that we have observed and picked for the year 2022 coincided with the theme of Digitalization 2.0. This gives us a huge relief that we are inching closer to the future where technology belongs to all.
Business trend #1: Sustainability
According to Google’s Year In Search 2021, sustainability was searched at record highs globally this year.
From tourism, and transportation, to food, fashion, and makeup, companies are reinventing to accommodate consumers’ needs.
83% of worldwide travellers believe that sustainable travelling is important, thanks to the growing awareness of climate change around the world.
According to Innova Market Insights - The Future of Plant-based September 2020, the average annual growth in global vegan and plant-based foods was 21% and 58% between 2015-2019, respectively.
In a 2020 global survey, 84% of respondents said they wouldn’t buy cosmetics if they knew it had been tested on animals. 77% also indicate “not tested on animals” as a determinant in their decision to buy a cosmetic or household product.
There’s an incredible amount of pressure from consumers to companies to be more environmentally responsible, or “woke” as the youths call it these days.
Companies that constantly innovate and align themselves with sustainability will do well in the eyes of consumers! Sustainability is a fight where all of us have to unite and work together to win. It cannot be something that only the rich can afford and only the highly educated are aware of.
With the pressure on companies, we believe that sustainable products and choices will be accessible to everyone.
Business trend #2: Automation
Technology exists to make people’s lives easier, not more complicated. That’s why automation will be at the core of every business. In fact, there has been much software dedicated to automating workflows and processes. For example, Zapier.
In dealing with the pandemic, automation helps businesses maintain manpower without increasing labor costs and keep consistent communication with their customers in the virtual world.
This is most commonly done in the form of a chatbot that can talk to your customers to communicate important company announcements, handle customer inquiries, and increase customer experience.
47% of customer support teams use some type of chatbot tech.
Automation and chatbots can also help your sales and marketing to be more efficient and profitable. For sales, it can help your team receive business inquiries and meeting requests straight to a designated sales agent. This automation helps your sales team get notified and reply to your customers right away.
For marketing, companies who implement a chatbot or other automation tools can receive more than 40% of leads. At least, that’s what our customers at Serviceform told us!
Business trend #3: No code/Low code
No code originates from the need to “democratise technology” and the idea that “anyone can become a maker”.
No code has been hailed as the future of tech and we believe that it will be more popular than ever in 2022 because it brings back control to the users.
2020 and 2021 have been excruciating. Businesses have to deal with Covid uncertainties and limited resources. Having the ability to make things on your own makes it cheaper, quicker, more efficient, and easier to control.
No code allows you to perform a complicated task with simple drag and drop or simply with a switch of a button.
Thanks to no code, small business owners have access to the technology that they would normally have to outsource if they themselves do not possess the skills.
No code software or applications also let non-technical people manage their tasks easier and be independent of developers.
For example, Zapier which we mentioned earlier is also a no-code application. Other prime examples are Webflow for website building and Bubble for app building.
Business trend #4: Anything-as-a-Service
Staying on track with our 2022 theme of democratising technology - Digitalization 2.0 - we have Anything-as-a-Service or XaaS for short (some also calls it Everything-as-a-Service).
XaaS came into existence when certain technologies were connected over the networks and became productised.
In simpler words, services, tools, or games that were once obtained only in a physical format, etc. can now be accessed straight from your laptop or other devices via the cloud.
Every company, if not everyone, is using some kind of XaaS because of its convenience, flexibility, scalability, and great technical support that comes with it.
XaaS products are usually financed through pay-as-you-go subscription models and different plans so you can choose whichever plans that suit you the best as your company grows.
With the help of XaaS, companies, especially small businesses can gain access to modern technologies and innovations at lower costs. Everything can be turned into a service and we believe that XaaS will prevail and become even more engraved into our lives in 2022!
Here are some of the most common types of XaaS and examples for each type:
1. SaaS (Software as a Service): Hubspot
2. IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service): AWS
3. PaaS (Platform as a Service): AWS Elastic Beanstalk
4. DaaS (Desktop as a Service): Citrix
5. DBaaS (Database as a Service): Oracle
6. CaaS (Communication as a Service): VoIP
If you want to read more about XaaS, we recommend this article.
Business trend #5: Omnichannel
Omnichannel is the ability to interact and serve customers across various channels like social media, website, email, text message, in-store, etc. while still remembering all their data like order history, shopping preferences, contact information, and recommend personalised products across various platforms.
Having gone through the pandemic, businesses learn to digitalise themselves in 2020 and be active across different channels in 2021. In 2022, they will continue to innovate to serve consumers better by going omnichannel.
An omnichannel customer journey could look like this. You search for the term “autumn knit sweater” on Google and click on the first link that you see. You browse around the website and click on several products but did not buy. Several hours later, you’re going through your Facebook feed and see those exact items that you clicked on from that exact shop. At the same time, you see several similar Instagram reel ads for the same product category. These triggered your interest to buy again so you go to the website to look for more information regarding the size through live chat. You decide to buy it and want it shipped to your home. When it arrives, you receive several emails and text messages reminding you to pick it up. You try it on and realise you don’t like it that much, so you go to the store and return it.
Now that you’ve seen how an omnichannel customer journey might play out, the key is utilising an omnichannel system that can connect all customer touchpoints.
Here are also some Omnichannel shopping trends you might want to keep an eye on:
- While consumers are home-shopping because of Covid, 41% of consumers find it valuable to be able to live chat with a brand while buying products online.
- 37% of consumers become frustrated when they have to wait too long for a purchase to arrive, and 23% dislike when they have to pay extra for shipping. In cases like this, provide the option to pick up and return in-store to save time and money for your customers.
- “Selling direct to the camera via Livestream will continue to grow,” says David Whitcroft of Full Stack Finance.
- Merchants with a TikTok For Business account can add a shopping tab to their profiles, sync their product catalogs, and create a mini-storefront that links directly to their Shopify store.
Have you heard of a Social CRM?
Business trend #6: Video marketing
In the years 2020 and 2021, any form of video content is extremely well-received and widely used by businesses and consumers alike.
Native videos work especially well. Every social media either already have a short video feature or they will all have it in the future. Videos that are under 1 minute are the best videos.
50 % of consumers say videos have helped them figure out what product or brand to buy.
TikTok welcomes not only millennials looking out for the latest trends and entertaining themselves, but also businesses of a different calibre. From small family-owned franchises to lawyers, real estate agencies, restaurants, paint companies, and even construction companies.
On LinkedIn, B2B video content focusing on personal brand building has been popular in recent years.
Over to Instagram, shopping and advertising are made easier with Reels. Reels are short-form viral clips set to music, where businesses can tag the products that appear on the video, making it fully shoppable.
On Facebook, social selling and Livestream shopping events have been so popular that Facebook made a brand new feature called Live Shopping.
Why are videos, especially short-form videos so popular? Because it’s visualising, fun, connecting, and personal. Most importantly, your videos when used for marketing should be authentic and non-invasive.
People enjoy short videos for the sheer purpose of entertainment. Try making a video for your 2022 marketing! By learning the basics of video making and video editing, you can create an amazing short-form video for your business.
Business trend #7: Pantone’s 2022 Color Of The Year
This year’s colour is PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri - a mixture of traditional blue with a vibrant red-violet undertone. It is a modern twist that signifies global transformation and innovation.
“With trends in gaming, the expanding popularity of the metaverse and rising artistic community in the digital space PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri illustrates the fusion of modern life and how color trends in the digital world are being manifested in the physical world and vice versa.”
- Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute.
We went through 2021 with Resilience Grey and Illuminating Yellow, having fought Covid-19 with hope and conviction. Now thanks to scientists and medical workers’ endless efforts to fight the pandemic, almost half of the World is fully vaccinated and ready to go back to normal life again!
2022 will be the year where we thrive in courageous creativity, modern advanced technology, and reborn ambitions!
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